Jim Guthrie and Louis (Butch) Meyer, III to form team
Jim Guthrie and Louis (Butch) Meyer, III announced today the formation of Guthrie Meyer Racing (GMR) to compete full-time in the Firestone Indy Lights (Indy Lights) beginning in the 2009 season. An exciting four-car driver roster will hit the track as championship contenders when the season kicks off on the Streets of St. Petersburg in April, 2009.
The pairing of Guthrie and Meyer brings together a combined 70-plus years of motorsports experience, both in and out of the cockpit. Both men have been a fixture in IndyCar Series racing since the inception of the premier open wheel organization in 1996 and the addition of the Indy Lights in2002.
Guthrie, the 1997 IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year, formed Guthrie Racing in 2004 and began fielding cars in Firestone Indy Lights in the 2006 season.
Meyer assumes the co-ownership reins of GMR after having served as Technical Director for Indy Lights the past six seasons.
The partnership is a reunion of sorts as Meyer was the team engine builder when Guthrie won the 1997 Rookie of the Year honors in the IndyCar Series.
“The growth of the Firestone Indy Lights is nothing short of amazing,” said Guthrie.
”My faith in Butch's knowledge and experience spurred my desire to partner with him and it is that knowledge that will make us capable of winning every race we enter. He brings tremendous technical depth to our organization and will enhance the success we have already enjoyed.
“We are excited that GMR will be in the thick of a highly competitive season that is sure to result in a tremendous battle for the championship. We are anticipating being contenders for wins and the championship from the drop of the first green flag. I have thoroughly enjoyed my years as Technical Director for Indy Lights,” Meyer stated.
“I am very excited to move to the next stage of my career as a team owner. Having spent the past six years in Indy Car, I know the strength of the organization and the dedication they have to continue building both Indy Lights and IndyCar.
“Jim has a proven track record as a winning team owner. Our skills complement each other and this partnership has the perfect ingredients to produce instant on-track success.
"Guthrie’s racing roots date back to his debut in motocross racing at10 years of age. He moved from dirt bikes to road racing motorcycles, then began racing professionally in 1985 competing in a Mazda. Guthrie finished third in the Hooters F2000 Pro Series in 1994 and again in 1995 in the Toyota Atlantic Series before going on to win the IndyCar Series race at the Phoenix International Raceway, as well as, Rookie of the Year in 1997. He stepped out of the cockpit in 2001 to focus on his family business in Albuquerque, New Mexico but, couldn’t stay away from the track. In three seasons of full-time competition in Indy Lights, Guthrie Racing has scored two (2) wins, nine (9) top-five finishes and 19 top-10s.
Meyer comes from an historic racing family. He is the grandson of the great Louis Meyer, the first three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. His family owned Meyer & Drake Engineering (manufactured and built "OFFY" racing engines that won over 27 Indy 500 races) and his father, Louis "Sonny” Meyer Jr. was an Indy car engine builder for 50 years. His engines powered over15 Indy 500 winners. Meyer also took the cockpit-first route in his personal racing career.
At six years old, he started racing quarter midgets moving to go-karts, sprint cars and finally Mini Indy Super Vies before trading the steering wheel for engine building tools in the family business just after his 23rd birthday.
He boasts an impressive list of wins and championships, most notable are two Indianapolis 500 wins in 1973) and 1982 with driver Gordon Johncock two IndyCar Series championships – 1997 with Tony Stewart and 1999 with Greg Ray.
Looking to the future, GMR is formulating plans to enter IndyCar Series competition as well.
“Our first goal is to be a solid contender for the Indy Lights championship in 2009,” Guthrie concluded.
“But we are looking to the future as well and laying a strong foundation to enter IndyCar Series competition as we build this organization.
Meyer added, “Jim and I are both very competitive and the structure of GMR will reflect that spirit of winning.
We are excited about the long-term goals and opportunities that we have and I can’t wait to get started.” The team will be based in Brownsburg, Indiana. Announcements regarding drivers and sponsors will be forthcoming in the near future.